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Beloved community leader and cultural icon, Martha Rivers Ingram, to be presented a NATIONAL OPERA T

Member News Release

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2016 National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards: Martha Rivers Ingram, Nashville Opera; Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, The Metropolitan Opera (New York, NY); Jacqueline Badger Mars, Washington National Opera (Washington, D.C.); Michele S. Fabrizi, Pittsburgh Opera; and Cynthia du Pont Tobias, OperaDelaware (Wilmington, DE). OPERA America will pay tribute to the 2016 honorees and celebrate their remarkable achievements at a dinner and reception on Friday, February 19, in New York City.

Now in its ninth year, these awards honor outstanding trustees of U.S. opera companies for their exemplary leadership, generosity and audience-building efforts on behalf of their respective opera companies. Bank of America proudly sponsors the National Opera Trustee Recognition Program.

The leadership of Nashville Opera nominated Mrs. Ingram for this prestigious national honor to recognize her unwavering commitment to establishing Nashville Opera as the preeminent opera company in the region, and for the profound impact she has had on Middle Tennessee through her tireless advocacy of the arts. Martha Ingram was instrumental in the creation of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC), a three-theatre arts complex which is home to the TPAC Broadway Series, Nashville Opera, Nashville Ballet, and Nashville Repertory Theatre. In addition, she was an ardent supporter for the design and construction of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in SoBro, and most recently, Gaillard Center in Charleston, SC. 

“I can assert without hesitation, Nashville Opera would not exist in its present form without Martha Ingram’s vision and support, and the cultural landscape of our entire community would be vastly different, as well,” said John Hoomes, CEO and Artistic Director of Nashville Opera. “Mrs. Ingram embodies the essence and spirit of the National Opera Trustee Recognition Award, and we are honored that she will receive it on February 19 in New York City.”

“We are delighted to be joined by Bank of America for the ninth consecutive year in celebrating the significant and enduring contributions of these devoted trustees,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Successful opera companies depend on effective boards. The National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards afford the entire opera community an opportunity to salute and learn from those who have been so generous in their passion for the art form, vision and support of their opera companies.”

Each year, OPERA America Professional Company Members are invited to nominate one of their trustees for this award. One honoree is chosen from each of OPERA America’s four budget levels, recognizing that devoted trustees are an integral part of opera companies large and small. The honorees display a significant range of accomplishments, profound generosity and a deep devotion to promoting opera in their communities.  

Through a competitive adjudication process, honorees are chosen by the National Opera Trustee Recognition Program selection committee, chaired by OPERA America Board Member Carol F. Henry (chairman of the board of directors’ executive committee, Los Angeles Opera). Other committee members include Elizabeth Eveillard (past chair of the board of trustees, The Glimmerglass Festival), Garry Fredericksen (past president of the board of directors, Indianapolis Opera), Beth Madison (chair of the board of trustees, Houston Grand Opera), Ruth Orth (past chair of the board of trustees, Pensacola Opera) and Fillmore Wood (former vice chairman of the board of directors, Opera Pacific).

“OPERA America’s commitment to recognizing the multifaceted contributions of opera company trustees is inspiring,” stated Ms. Henry. “As an opera company trustee, I understand the level of dedication the nominees make to the art form and to the opera companies they love. Therefore, I am deeply honored to commend their achievements on a national scale.”

OPERA America’s National Opera Trustee Recognition Program is made possible by the generous support of Bank of America. “The Bank’s long-term sponsorship of this program illustrates its commitment to supporting effective leadership across the opera community, for which we are profoundly grateful,” stated Scorca.

About Nashville Opera

Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, is dedicated to creating legendary productions and programs. Among the most successful regional companies in the United States of America, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Main stage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Noah Liff Opera Center, playing to over 13,000 people annually. Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches approximately 25,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee. These projects are supported by grants from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Judy and Noah Liff Foundation, the Nashville Opera Guild, HCA, and many other corporate and individual supporters.

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